Archive for War On Terror

The cost of Defense

Posted in HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 11, November 2012 by chockblock

I admit that I am a Cold War baby. I was born in the 70’s, my father worked as a defense contractor. He met my mother when he was in the Air Force.

But what has the military done for the rest of us?

  • The very existence of this Wiki was made possible via the US Department of Defense wanting to create a way for people to gain access to powerful research computers they were geographically separated from—for both purely scientific/academic and military projects. Incidentally, it also protected the flow of information between military installations from attacks (up to and including nuclear weapons). This is what became the Internet. (The World Wide Web and the hypertext system, while still vital, was a civilian thing)
  • Your sat-nav. NAVSTAR GPS, developed for the US military and made available for public use after the KAL 007 shoot-down.
  • Supersonic flight—first done by the US Air Force.
  • The Moon Landings—military-trained pilots. Of the 12 men to walk on the Moon, only one (Harrison Schmidt) had never been a member of the US Armed Forces. Of the remaining 11, only the first (Neil Armstrong) was directly employed by NASA: Armstrong was a retired Navy test pilot, while the remaining 10 were still active-duty Air Force and Navy pilots (4 Air Force, 6 Navy).
  • US Space Exploration in general—the Titan space launchers were originally for Superior Firepower.
  • Antibiotics. In order to keep troops healthy, the US Military developed a way to mass produce penicillin in World War II to ensure every soldier would have access to some.
  • Nylon—originally created for parachutes. Or rather, originally created for women’s stockings, which used the silk needed for parachutes at the beginning of World War II; old stockings were turned into parachutes. And then they ran out of old silk stockings and started making the parachutes out of old nylon stockings and whatever other nylon they could get their hands on. Women held stocking drives to support the war effort.
  • Duct tape—originally created as a waterproof packing tape for supply crates being carried ashore in amphibious landings. In the military duct tape is colored olive drab instead of silver, and nicknamed “mile a minute tape” or “ninety mile an hour tape.”
  • In response to large natural disasters around the world, when the US sends aid, the first responders are usually the military, who have the logistical capacity to quickly move a lot of supplies and medical personnel, often to territory that doesn’t lend itself easily to conventional civilian transportation due to limitations of local infrastructure (pre-existing limitations or those caused by the disasters themselves). Entire naval battle groups have been rerouted to provide aid, occasionally even as the disaster is in progress.
    On the internet an anecdote exists of a supposed conference listing some of the capabilities of aircraft carriers in disaster situations, including on-board hospitals, cafeterias designed to feed thousands and the ability to both provide electricity to shore based facilities, and provide a landing point for rescue aircraft.
  • One of the benefits of joining the US military since WWII is having your college paid for by the Montgomery GI bill. One can also get a scholarship by joining the ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps, essentially a college level cadet program that leads into a military career as an officer). In addition, each service offers the ability to gain college credit, and in some cases having a degree is a requirement for promotion even for the enlisted. In America joining the military to get an education is a fairly common motivation, helping to make the military an institution of society in many parts of the US.
  • — TVTropes: “Yanks With Tanks”

“There is no National Defense Service Medal for veterans of the Cold War. What were America’s GIs up to? They went on alert when Egypt claimed the Suez Canal in 1956. They manned missile silos in North Dakota and piloted B-52s aimed at Soviet targets. They crewed nuclear-armed submarines and drove tanks in the Fulda Gap between West and East Germany. Some of what they did is still secret.”
–“A Cold Shoulder for Cold-War Vets“, By BARRY NEWMAN, WSJ.com (via XBradTC)

So out come these idiots from George Mason University:

In 2010, the United States government spent more on national defense ($738.8 billion) than it did
at the height of the Cold War spending in 1986 ($572 billion), when the U.S. was competing in
an arms race against the then superpower U.S.S.R.

Once the U.S. embarked upon the path of permanent war, starting with World War II, the result was a permanent war economy. The permanent war economy continuously draws resources into the military sector at the expense of the private economy, even in times of peace. We explore the overlooked costs of this process. The permanent war economy does not just transfer resources from the private economy, but also distorts and undermines the market process which is ultimately responsible for improvements in standards of living.

What? What technology has been suppressed? What has been held back?

Let’s look at the budget:

Yea, less than a quarter even if you add in the “generous” pensions vets get from the Dept. Of Veterans Affairs. Here, here, here and here I destroy the left’s favorite arguments about the military:

  1. We don’t need a draft.
  2. Pay is not generous.
  3. The military is smaller today that it was during the cold war.
  4. There is no need to “reform” pay.

What we have here is a failure to adjust for inflation. “1986 ($572 billion)” becomes 1,2 trillion in 2012. 2010’s $738.8 billion becomes $349.9 billion in 1986 dollars. The military is smaller and cheaper than during the cold war.

I suspect that the left hates the military and some want to side with our enemies. The only country that had a military-industrial complex that broke it was the former USSR. A command economy sucks because it has to choose guns over butter. Like North Korea:

North Korea at night.

North Korea fights global warming!

The “report” from Thomas K. Duncan and Christopher J. Coyne i long on sweeping lefty generalizations and short of specifics(And if TvTropes can call out their bullcrap…). The “military-industrial” complex was a term Eisenhower(R) used to refer to Kennedy(D) and his fear that Kennedy would spend more on defense. Then Vietnam happened under LBJ, man walked on the moon and the DoD had huge growth. I’m stationed on an air base expanded and built upon during the Kennedy era.

I sense bad things for those of us in the service, since this is catnip to the left.

Huh…

Posted in army life, army training, guns, politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 7, October 2012 by chockblock

“But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed much. Each year, the overwhelming majority of new military recruits are young and male. In that sense, the American military of 2012 still looks a great deal like the American military of the 1970s, the 1940s, the 1860s, or the 1770s. For that matter, it still looks a lot like virtually every group of warriors in virtually every society during virtually every period of human history.

It’s time to question the near-universal assumption that the ideal military recruit is young and male. The nature of warfare has changed dramatically in the last century and the capabilities most needed by the military are less and less likely to be in the exclusive possession of young males. In fact, the opposite may be true: when it comes to certain key skills and qualities likely to be vital to the military in the coming decades, young males may be one of the least well-suited demographic groups.”

No Army for Young Men
Soldiers these days need less muscle and more maturity, so why do we still focus on recruiting 18-year-olds?
BY ROSA BROOKS

My least favorite blogger, Ms. Brooks actually hits one out of the park. I was mad at her epic fail as she questioned military pay and benefits. Hey, service members aren’t paid high enough lady!

But she hits the right notes with this piece. For some reason the left wants to screw over our allies. The New York Times wants us to leave Taiwan. War is Boring and the Atlantic want the US to leave Japan.

In the midst of teh peacenik crazies, it’s nice to see someone admit that soldiers are ADULTS.

The US military does not enlist, nor commission children. I’m gonna say that again, the US military does not enlist, nor commission children.

The reason the military recruits in high school is to get young people as they turn 18. Given the 20 year career path many take, that means a young man or woman could enlist at 17 (with their parent’s permission). Starting at E-1, they go up the ranks. The higher ranks are capped per federal regs and age limits, but promotion is based on merit. So a young man or woman can join at 17, get promoted and then retire at the age of 40 if they want. Or they can go to a service academy, ROTC or plain ole’ college then get a commission as an officer. Or they can do the “high school to flight school” and become a warrant officer and fly for the Army. There are officers, warrant officers and enlisted who have 25+ years of service, some with over 40. The point is that high school age Americans had a place in the military of the past.

Flash forward to the 21st century, those over 17, hell those up to 40 can join. Yes, a career in the military is hard on the body. That said, those fresh out of high school have a place. Instead of drinking and parting their way through teen years mark II, they could get a job defending their country. But being 20, 23, or 33 doesn’t make them unfit. If anything older service members bring skills and experience into the mix.

The myth that junior enlisted are “children” dates back to conflicts of old. Yes, even up to Vietnam, the military and civilian leaders kept tossing bodies at the problem. Now we live in the era that makes Vietnam’s tech level look like the Napoleonic Wars. More young soldiers have families, more junior enlisted are older than 20. The draft should go the way of segregation, “don’t ask, don’t tell” and vacuum tubes.

Her blog is the usual leftist screeching that war is too easy, somehow. I applaud her for saying that soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines ARE NOT children. It’s time everyone realizes that. All Americans over 17 should get calls from recruiters.

The bursting of the college bubble.

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 6, October 2012 by chockblock

It’s starting:

Who Needs College? The Swiss Opt for Vocational School (Time.com):
As young Americans contemplate the immense cost (and considerable indebtedness) involved in a college education, it may be worthwhile to consider the options available to the Swiss—and whether they are worth importing into the U.S. In Switzerland, even though university education is free, the vast majority of students opt for a vocational training instead.

The Parent Loan Trap
More than a decade after Aurora Almendral first set foot on her dream college campus, she and her mother still shoulder the cost of that choice.

Ah college, the high school after high school. A place of fun, drinking and lefty politics. To be young and without a care in the world…

Yeah right!

College used to be only for the rich. After World War II, the GI Bill put college in the hands of a generation that had adulthood delayed. That generation saw their children become adults in the background of yet another war. Those children went to college expecting it. When they had children, college was now just an extension of high school.

It’s now the norm for adults to dress like children, act like children and think like children well into their mid 20’s. That’s why many college students have tons of credit card debt and sign up for student loans that shadow them for the rest of their lives. The Occupy Movement was just the temper tantrum of a child who wants daddy to pay for more stuff.

The times are a’changing! Online learning, the post 9/11 GI bill and now the new interest in vocational school. Why is vocational school important? Simple:

  1. Many “adults” just don’t have the maturity for college, others are mature enough to know that college isn’t for them.
  2. Some would rather earn money now than take a gamble on a major that promises big but requires lots of upfront costs.
  3. Teachers KNEW, knew that college isn’t for everyone, but our liberal overlords pimped college because that’s what the left wants.
  4. Many young adults have plans for a family and don’t want to sit in a classroom

The left turned childhood into something that lasts until you turn 25. As our population ages and colleges keep feeding of students who can’t pay their loans, traditional colleges will die out. Now college students over the age of 25 were called “non-traditional students”. They will become the norm as more young people will have no choice but to forgo college. Others will go online as more and more colleges offer online courses.

All too often things like student life, football and leftist politics take over colleges. As the costs go up for traditional colleges, more young adults will go online or to vocational school. There are many good jobs out there for those without a 4 year degree. The lure of a job without crushing debt will burst the bubble. The left will howl in protest, expect an attack on vocational schools and online courses by traditional college faculty. And expect them to fail.

Just give it time.

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot…

Posted in politcs, rankers, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , on 23, September 2012 by chockblock

So 2008 was supposed to be a break from the George W. Bush presidency. The left kept jumping up and down saying that he was an evil moron etc.

The media really didn’t know the people they put in the White House and they never bothered to find out. We have an administration that kowtows to an angry mob, thinks it can advance a liberal agenda on the backs of dead Mexicans, downplays a Marine unit that is non-mission capable and the media just goes along with it.

I get that the left hated Bush. The election, the Iraq war etc. The man could never catch a break. However our current government seems to be doing a worse job. The Arab spring? Came about because of Saddam’s fall. The administration sits on its hands as crazed radicals take control of Egypt and demand the release of the man behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade center. Instead of charting its own course, the DOJ works with a liberal organization to slander reporters covering the DOJ. The media doesn’t cover the war in Afghanistan, yet lamets that there are no protests and outcry over it. Energy policy that hits the poor and working families hardest. There was never any hope and change. Only Washington insiders protecting their own. I’ve always suspected that the conspiracy theories about Bush were the left’s wishful thinking. They wanted to be able to manipulate the government for their agenda. Hence the millions wasted on Solyndra, high-speed rail in cali and our complete loss of influence in the Middle East. Why does the administration have to arrest a filmmaker?

Because theory and ideology are more important than real people and elections are more important than the truth. The lunatics are running the asylum.

You are what you hate lefties. You gave us a government that is made of fail. With the coming budget cuts and you’re leadership’s failure to act, this is your fault. Bush is out of office. This is not inherited . This. Is. Your. Mess.

“Smart Diplomacy” and the liberal media

Posted in guns, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 13, September 2012 by chockblock

Our embassy in Libya was attacked. Our ambassador is dead along with several brave Americans. The battle to get our people out was “fierce“. How do our longtime allies in Egypt react? By calling for the head of the movie director who’s craptacular movie started the rage fest in the Middle East. U.S. Embassy in Cairo knuckles under, only to be tossed under the bus by Washington.

Meanwhile Egypt wants more M-1 Abrams tanks. I stand with Sebastian and his blog in asking “Um, why?”

Egypt is moving closer to Iran now that the Muslim Brotherhood is in charge. Egypt operates the F-16, M-1 and Patriot Missile System. Israel operated the F-16 and Patriot. Guess what Iran desperately wants to counter? Russia wants technical data, as would China. Unlike the downgraded models the USSR gave to Egypt in the Cold War, the current Egyptian military has some of the best the US could send. Perhaps the Muslim Brotherhood thinks it stands a chance to invade Israel now? Iran would give it’s support and Russia would cover for them in the UN. Lord knows the American left would give Egypt it’s support.

Of course American drones are in Libya, and so was a Marine FAST team.

We’re at war, more or less. So much for the “smart diplomacy” we were promised back in 2008.

This is journalism?

Posted in rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 16, August 2012 by chockblock

Behold:

When are drone killings illegal?
By Mary Ellen O’Connell, Special to CNN

“(CNN) — The Bush and Obama administrations’ extraordinary program of targeted killing has resulted in the deaths of as many as 4,400 people to date. Books such as Daniel Klaidman’s “Kill or Capture” and David E. Sanger’s “Confront and Conceal” are appearing thick and fast, focusing on the program and particularly on the use of drones to carry it out.”

The picture they use is an unarmed U.S. Customs and Border Protection MQ-9 Reaper. Far from an armed killer, it’s spent it’s life finding drugs on the border.

Furthermore, the author uses this website:
Lefty propaganda

Yep, America is on the rampage again. *sigh*

Lefty bullshit propaganda disguised as reporting the facts.

Update: At least they fixed the picture…

About that Pacific Re-alignment…

Posted in ADA, army life, army training, guns, politcs, rankers, tech pron, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 16, August 2012 by chockblock

As seen on DEW Line: Chinese and Russian aircraft.

So the DoD wants to shift to the Pacific. Here’s the reason why they should be worried. The Russian plane has a radar that poses a deadly threat to fourth generation aircraft. The Chinese are putting a real fighter on board the carrier most lefties think is just for show. So a real fighter with their new navy.

And this is why the Pacific is becoming a dangerous place.

BTW: lost in the disappointment in the “Arab Spring” and it’s failure in Egypt:

“CAIRO – Egypt’s Islamist president ordered his defense minister and chief of staff to retire on Sunday and canceled the military-declared constitutional amendments that gave top generals wide powers”

Egypt’s president cancels amendments that gave military power, names vice president: Associated Press.

Patriot Missile Operators:

Egyptian Air Defense Command:

MIM-104(PAC-3) missile: 4 Batteries (4 Stationary (towed) units per Battery, 16 missiles per unit plus 2 reloads each)

Israeli Air Force (GEM+)

This won’t end well….